Just a short one.

I was wondering whether to post tonight, obviously, I decided that I would.

It hasn't been too bad a week this week, work went quite well, nothing disastrous happened, and yesterday I went with mum to visit Northampton.  As neither of us had been there before, I thought it would make an enjoyable day out. Quite a nice place, and a few lovely and interesting churches to see there too, took a few pictures, but don't have the phone with me right now, so will post tomorrow all about them, and put a few pics in too, for good measure.

As it is my weekend off, we had church twice today, St Pauls Tupsley, this morning, and St Andrews Hampton Bishop, this evening. Fullish church as usual this morning, and an enjoyable service. This evening at St Andrews, as it was the fifth Sunday of the month, the service was from the Book of Common Prayer, rather than Common Worship. MLO was exceedingly happy, as it meant no peace. Being as it was an older service, there were a few extra people in church, who only ever come for that particular service, 21 rather than a usual 15 or so at best. Shame about the hymns though, not particularly singable. I cannot sing particularly high notes very well, but a lot of hymns are full of them. I end up either trying to sing low like the men or just mouthing the words in the high bits, otherwise I'd sound like a cat being castrated, not good I can tell you. 

Anyway will post again tomorrow with pics from Saturday, and anything else I remember, so TTFN. 

Mums up a mountain

Monday again. As is usual on a Monday, I have had the day off work, and nothing happened, so nothing different there either. My mother on the other hand went to Snowdonia today, and caught the little train up to the top of Mt Snowdon, and while it was pouring with rain and dark grey cloud here, for a change the weather around Snowdon couldn't have been lovelier, warm, dry and a glorious blue sky. So mum was incredibly chuffed that she chose today to go.  

By midday she was back down, and wondering what to do with the rest of her day. I suggested she go to The Electric Mountain, which isn't as hair raising as it may sound, but is a power station that was built inside a Snowdonian Welsh mountain. MLO and I visited it last November when we last went to North Wales. Really amazing how they had made enormous caverns inside the mountain to house all the generator equipment and water pipelines. One thing that really surprised me was the way they generate the electricity, and sell it on to the grid. The most surprising thing of all ,was the fact that they use more electricity in the process than they actually produce. Dreadfully wasteful, but apparently it makes them plenty of money, so that must be OK then. What they do is, right at the top of the mountain is a natural lake which they partially dammed, and put an enormous plug hole in (really), during the day, the plughole is opened and the flow of water is controlled through the many pipelines and drives various turbines to generate the electricity. The water that has flowed down, then empties into a lake at the bottom of the mountain. Because all this is done during the day, the electricity is sold at peak rate to the grid. Then, at night all the water that came down the mountain during the day, is slowly but surely pumped back up into the top lake ready for the next day. And although it uses a lot more electricity to take it back up, the company (First Hydro) buy the electricity that enables them to do it, at the cheap nightly rate, thereby creating a profit, but bizarrely for a power station using more electricity than it produces. 

On the tour you are driven in to the mountain on a bus complete with hard hats, and get off at various points in the power station. There is one man made cavern there, that is the largest in Europe and contains the six main turbine generators , it is absolutely gigantic. 

I have work again tomorrow, so should get to bed soon. MLO should have been out tomorrow judging maize crops for the agricultural society, but for some reason none of the farmers who should have been having their maize judged have got back to him, so no go there. If they aren't quick though it will be too late. He isn't too bothered though as he gets a lie in the morning, and the rest of the day off too. He's quite happy infact. 

Next Wednesday is his birthday and quite brilliantly both of us have a free day, and his mum can't claim dibs on him as she is off on another holiday, have promised him lunch out but not sure where yet.

Garway church and work

Nothing much to write about again today, but I thought I should at least make some sort of effort. When I looked at my blog earlier it had pretty blue pictures all over it telling me that I had exceeded my bandwidth. It wasn't me though but the person who was hosting the images for the template I use. I have now copied the images and saved them to a draft post so never need worry about bandwidth again.

Was a quiet day at work again, no surprises there. One exciting thing though we are going to have a complete makeover (the garage, not The Other Girl and I). After 10 years of putting up with dreadful magnolia walls and oil stained flooring, it's about time. We will have plumbed in heating too for the first time in years, which will be great. In winter, it is quite often warmer in the fridge than in the rest of the place. Had a chap in on Tuesday to measure the place up and decide on plans etc. Probably the least talkative man on earth.  So spent a slightly uncomfortable couple of hours wondering whether to say something and not get an answer, or just say nothing and have him think me ignorant. I hate it when things like that happen.

Yesterday as MLO had to collect some paperwork from one of his farms, and I had a day off I went with him for a ride. Rather brilliantly, the farm was over at Garway, MLO said as I had wanted to go there for so long, he would take me there after finally figuring out where in the village it is.  Nice old church it is, all angles where bits have been added, changed and joined together. We had a good look round the inside and took a few pictures, including one of a rather lovely green man. Inside it had some gorgeous old solid oak pews, but the poor place was very damp and dirty. Several of the steps had green algae on them. We decided to sit down for a few minutes when  a couple of people came in, shortly followed by another. The last lady turned out to be some sort of guide, and was about to open up the tower for the other two people to look at and said we could come along too if we wished.  As we went through she gave us all the history of the place and told us all sorts of stories about the church. Mainly about the Templars but that was to be expected I suppose. 

One fascinating thing was that in the 16th century when a passageway was built to connect the tower to the church, the resourceful builders reused  most of the templar tombstones as window lintels and steps, so when you look up above the windows there is quite often a carved sword or similar. The tower itself is 13th century, and has walls that are 4ft thick. It does feel incredibly old when you go in, and has two deeply recessed windows, that would look just as at home in a castle.

 On the floor in the tower were some lovely old tombstones beautifully carved. In the corner was the door up into the tower, but the lady said they wont allow anyone up there any more, as it is so dark and narrow, plus she said with the tower being open there is bird doo all over the stairs. She said the last time anyone was up there was five years ago when they took a group up, problem was, one lady got so scared she refused to come back down the narrow stairs, and it took almost two hours to coax her down. Also in the room along with a rather nice collection of lawnmowers and bellringing ropes was an old oak chest, almost 7 ft long and made from a single block of wood, and the gnarliest metal hinges which the lady told us  was thought to be an original templar chest, she mentioned that a dendrochronolgist had been and dated it, and he agreed with the dating. Apparently other tests had been done to determine how old it really was, and they too came to the conclusion that it was templar, but she wasn't sure what test it was that had been done.

After we had had another look round inside, and listened to a bit of the history of the place, we went for a wander round outside. A short distance across a bit of a run down orchard/paddock was the dovecote or columbarium, we didn't have much time to go and see it, besides which we hadn't asked the people who owned the land. All the time we were outside we could hear a bird of prey screeing, and looked if we could see it, from what we saw, and heard, it was probably a hen harrier, which is quite cool, thats twice I have seen one in Herefordshire now. He ended up sitting in a tree for several minutes and calling out almost the whole time, so no idea what was up with it. To finish, we strolled up to the top of the graveyard and took a couple of pictures looking down on the church to finish off. 

We came home via a lovely road , and ended up coming out at Pontrilas, a very lovely detour indeed.  We got home just after half past seven, and had shepherds pie for tea.

That just about all there is to tell now, so will say ttfn for now, and au revoir etc etc. 

Walk along the Hereford to Gloucester canal, sunshine and church

What a lovely day today has been, in all ways. Perfect weather, perfect company what more could anyone ask for? 
Ended up missing church this morning, as helping MLOs mother get everything ready for the lunch today took rather longer than first thought, but nevermind. After that was done and she had been packed off to Tarrington to the hall along with MLO who had been roped in to set out the tables and chairs, I had a while to myself, so had a nice long conversation with God about stuff, and how it is going. It is a bit odd really though, not so long ago, whenever I was praying, or anything I almost had a feeling that He was there, right there, almost took it for granted, I suppose I imagined that it would always feel that way. Not entirely certain how I could ever go about explaining how I knew, if I try to say to MLO, it all sounds so vague. I need to try to explain myself a bit better, I really really do. Now, even though I am still certain that He is around all the time, it never seems as though He is right there at any point, that doesn't make much sense I know, I wish I could put it better. I'm useless at trying to explain why I feel how I feel about it all. I know all the reasons I have for it in my heart and head, but I always assume that isn't what people want to hear. Rightly or wrongly, probably wrongly for the most part.

   Back to today, as MLO and I had planned to go on a walk today somewhere, we decided to go a couple of miles away to the village of Yarkhill, and a walk that was organised by the Herefordshire and Gloucestershire canal trust, along a section of the old Hereford to Gloucester canal that they have been restoring after having become overgrown after being disused for so long. After walking through fields that were being combine harvested we got to the canal after about 2/3 of a mile or so. I was surprised at how many people had turned out, although the weather was stunningly lovely, so that probably helped. To begin with we ended up going the wrong way, but had an extra bit of a walk that was just as enjoyable. We walked to the village of Monkhide to see the old skew bridge over the canal there, which the trust had restored previously. We realised that that wasn't where we should have gone, and walked back towards the village hall car park and on the way back found the gateway and field we should have gone through to start with. Had a lovely time. Saw a few people we knew, so stopped for a natter.  Also saw loads of different animals, most common, still nice to see. There was a couple of buzzards overhead calling most of the time as well as a kestrel. Loads of pheasant that had been released in the local woods for the shoots, but had spread all over the place out of the woods, and were fair game for anyone. Rabbits by the hundred diving out of the wheat field being harvested,, someones jack russell dog had got rather over excited and was diving all over the place trying to catch himself a rabbit. Dragonflies too, and more long tailed tits in one place that I have ever seen before in my life. The cutest little birds imaginable.

Got home just before quarter to five, just in time to get cleaned up, changed and off to church for the evening service. The vicar was back today for the evening worship. Had a nice mix of hymns and a good sermon, and lots of lovely quiet. Quite amusingly MLO fell asleep during the intercessions , everyone was so quiet, then all of a sudden there was some serious heavy breathing going on next to me, I looked at him and his head was on his chest and he was fast akip., the lady sat next to him on the other side gave him a bit of a funny look too, so I tapped him and he woke up. Wouldn't believe me when I told him though.  Made me smile. Got back home and MLOs mum had got back from the lunch, complete with what was left of the salads she had taken, so had salad for tea. She also brought back with her a rather delicious pear tarte tatin, which was utterly scrummy, and went down extremely well after salads.

Well there I am, up to date. Another day off work tomorrow yippee, have my washing to do then, so long as the weather stays dry and sunny, I should be able to get a lot done. 

Off to bed now, so night night all.

A day in Hereford

Well, another week has almost gone, halfway through August already. Unbelievable. At least the weather seems to have made its mind up as to which season it should be, and has finally settled on summer. Very warm, and sunny. Lovely.

Spent most of today in Hereford with mum, wandering round the shops and stopping for an occasional coffee. This week it has been the Three Choirs Festival in Hereford, an annual classical music festival that rotates between Gloucester, Hereford and Worcester. Most things took place in the cathedral, and has brought so many people into the city it has been wonderful. Really lovely and busy, in fact I would go so far as to say the place was buzzing. 

As part of the festival, there was entertainment on the nearby Castle Green, a couple of minutes walk from the Cathedral , by the river. There were Morris men dancing when we arrived and all sorts of medieval re enactment things going on, from herbalists, to a weapons maker covered in fake blood busy telling children what his arrows could do to a Frenchman. There was also a pig roast too.  Later a group from Herefords twin city Vierzon, in France played medieval instruments and danced in period costume, which was fun to watch. 

This week has again been a a very quiet one at work, so nothing to tell there. 

MLO and I went into Hereford on a flying visit on Wednesday to get some books back to the library and pick one up that I had had reserved for me, we popped into the map shop quickly, and they had a guide on the Norfolk Coastal path, complete with what to watch out for along the way, so we bought that, and also the maps we will need when we go. One thing I would love is one of the GPS units for walkers that you can have the entire Ordnance Survey maps on, but they are far to expensive, so I can continue to dream. One thing I am chuffed about is though; today I was looking at a medium rucksack in the camping stores round Hereford, but they were quite dear, on an off-chance, we went to TK Maxx, and lo and behold, they had two rucksacks of exactly the right size, a very good make, and less than a quarter of the price of elsewhere, so I was pretty chuffed with that. 

Thats all for now, will blog tomorrow (probably) at some point, MLO and I will be going to church early, then back to help MLOs mum with the Agricultural Societies lunch. (Trumpet and District Agricultural Society). Will have to write something about them at some point. Anyway after we are going for a walk, then church in the evening again. Mister Vicar is back from his soggy week at New wine, so will be nice to see a familiar face again.

A holiday in the planning, and other stuff

MLO and I have finally been able to get a few days together that don't clash with work or everything else, so that we can go off and get away from it all for a few days. Yay. So next month, we will be off for four whole days. Even better, I have finally persuaded MLO after 14 years of badgering to agree to go on a walking holiday. The kind where you leave the car, then walk for the next however long, stopping off en-route, each night and setting off again the next day. We will be carrying all our stuff in rucksacks so need to pack light. However, the only way I could convince him to agree, was to agree to going somewhere with no hills. So we will be walking the North Norfolk Coastal Path, which for the most part is flat, but with lovely views, and lovely places to visit along the way. Am really looking forward to it.
Yesterday, as the vicar was still away, we were very honoured to have the Archdeacon of Hereford the Ven Malcolm Colmer take the service, enjoyable service it was too. Afterwards MLO and I had a really long natter with C who we see every week, had a great laugh with him too, first time I had really talked with him since we started to go to the church.
Work was exceptionally quiet over the weekend, hardly came as a surprise though, seeing as it has been so quiet lately anyway.
Cannot think of much else to talk about right now, although I have been busy messing around on photoshop making new and pretty backgrounds for twitter and my computer.
Oh well, that really is all I can think of to write about now, will try to do something a little more interesting and less mundane, just so I can write about it, maybe I should start writing about what I read? I dont know. Anyway ttfn etc etc.

Thousands of ants, but no customers.

A short post here, as I don't have much to tell, and am really wondering why I am bothering to spend time writing about the fact that I have nothing to write about, but there you go, I am in one of those sort of moods right now, so that probably explains it.
The last few days have been exceptionally quiet at work, I think most of the population of Herefordshire have gone on holiday to sunnier climes, so very very quiet.
The weather today decided to be dry for the first time in ages, so there has been a mad flurry of combining and spraying and other things while the weather remains dry, round about the county. We have been quite lucky with the weather here it seems, in Warwickshire there have been downpours. After a small chance of rain here tonight it is set fair for the next week or so, but mainly cloudy, not much sun.

Yesterday at home we were invaded by flying ants. They all seemed to hatch at once, and at one point the grass of one of the front lawns was literally seething with them, a little while later though and they had almost all flown off. Spoke to an old boy who comes in occasionally, Mr M, and the same thing happened at his farm, at the same time too. When I was younger, and still lived in Birmingham, it used to happen there too, on one single day there would be flying ants everywhere, as they all seemed to hatch at the same time. The pavements used to get into a gunky mess from all of the ants that had been trodden on.
MLO and I have been trying to figure out when we can get away together this year, so far we haven't managed to get away, but the beginning of September is looking hopeful. Fingers crossed.
Have been having a few talks with MLO about stuff the past few days, figuring things out a bit more. Strange feeling lately though, everything has gone a bit quiet, not a completely bad feeling, just a bit odd, need to have a good old thinking and praying session. Preferably in peace and quiet, but that is a bit of a rare commodity lately, so will see how I get on. Other than that all is ok.
Anyway have work again in less than 8 hours, so must get off to bed asap, so night night.

Coventry Cathedral, rain and Phil Rickman

It is rather a long time since I last blogged, but, up until yesterday, there really was nothing worth writing about, just the usual work and day to day stuff.

However yesterday, was my Saturday off, so went up to Birmingham to go and see mum. After having visited Birmingham every other Saturday off, I had become a little bored with it, and so decided to go and visit elsewhere. Yesterday was the turn of Coventry. Poor old Coventry is not the most pleasant of cities, although if you leave the main center of the town, there are some lovely Medieval areas left to explore, and of course there are the two cathedrals, which were the main reason for our visit. 

On Friday night when I was mooching around on the net for inspiration of where to visit, I found out about a rail ticket that I had not previously known about, that allowed me to have unlimited travel in an area from Crewe to Stoke in the north, west to Shrewsbury, Gobowen and Hereford in the west, and Northampton, Lichfield and Stratford in the east and South, all for only £3.40 more than my regular return ticket, which seemed like stunning value, so of course, I bought one.

In the end, we only went to Coventry, as we took so long there, but still it was a saving.  I had been to the  new cathedral previously, and have gone from hating the sight of it when I first saw it years ago, to actually thinking of it as really lovely and incredibly impressive this time, it is definitely a building that grows on you, given the chance, but on first impressions I think you either love it or don't.   When you first go in, it does look incredible grey and industrial, but that is before you see the incredible stained glass windows and the tapestry. As you walk along the cathedral to the top, the windows are revealed one by on, until looking back you see every one glowing thee full height of the cathedral building.

When we arrived there was a choir practicing, with the organ accompanying them, so were treated to  some wonderful music, and standing dead center between the two halves of the organ when it was in full belt, was rather amazing, a group of German tourists were stood there some with their mouths open at how amazing it sounded, and with the choir singing center ahead of us, truly spectacular.

Before we went into the new cathedral , we had had a wander round the old one. Even though most of the body of the building was missing,, parts of the walls too and the roof completely and utterly absent, it still felt very much like a cathedral, and would be a lovely place for a service on a hot summers (dry) day. When we came to leaving the cathedral, we happened to have a look outside, and the rain was hammering down. Again. I was lucky in that I remembered to put my waterproof jacket in my bag that morning, and so we ventured out into it, it got so heavy at one point that there was a mist almost 2 or 3 feet high from the rain hitting the ground. We got about 20 yards, then decided that being out in the rain was not so wise, and dived into the cathedral shop, as had quite a few others. Had a bit of a look round, then mum decided we should go to the Transport museum, also in the city center. Quite a fascinating place, with vehicles from Victorian times to the present day, including a rather gorgeous brand new Jaguar. The Thrust SSC, holder of the world land speed record, breaking the sound barrier and reaching a speed of 763mph. Unfortunately as we had arrived at the museum only and hour before they were due to close, they had closed off some of the areas of the museum, including the one with the Thrust. Bit of a bugger really, but as it cost nothing to get in, will visit again soon.

On to Sunday, and church this morning, quite enjoyable. As the vicar is away at a New Wine thing this week, along with about 40 of the congregation, we had a lady from the Cathedral doing the service. She explained about the precautions to do with swine flu, and said as such, there would be no wine whatsoever, not even for dipping the bread in, slightly ott really. She then said we were to refrain from shaking hands at the peace, just nod at each other, this didn't go down to well.  She explained that the Bishop had sent them memo's with the guidelines on,  at that point a woman stood up, and said, in a rather consternated voice "I think you will find it was actually the Archbishop" , then promptly sat down again. Left the poor vicar slightly taken aback a bit, and then  she explained to everyone that the Archbishop had indeed originally set out what should be done, but that the Bishop of Hereford had been the one who had it said to her. Not quite sure what the woman thought she was achieving, in standing up and saying that, but she said it in such a way that it was almost as if she was implying the vicar was lying. When the vicar had explained, a good many people looked at the woman as if to say "Thats you told then". Quite amusing really. 

In the afternoon, we went over to the west of Hereford to a place called Kinnersley Castle, for a book launch of Phil Rickman's new book Merrily's Border, all about the place mentioned in his novels, with photographs and a bit of history to go with them. A very atmospheric old house, but nice and homely. There was a couple of tables there with various books, one with all Phil Rickmans novels for sale, including the ones he wrote under the name Will Kingdom, and on the other were books from his current books publisher Logaston Press. There were so many people there, wandering all over the house and gardens. Wine was there as were nibbles. When we arrived people were sat all over the place, up the stairs on sofas, lovely and relaxed there, not at all like any other book launch I remember. Phil Rickman himself was playing in the band on guitar, sounded pretty good too. A bit folky sounding for my taste, but still good. Well I made my purchase and MLO and I went off for a bit of a mooch around, the came in and went in the one room where he had encamped, to get my book signed. An hour or so later, we decided to go. Just as we were leaving we passed a car where, because of the wet the man had got himself into a pretty impressive rut, and who then decided the best way to get out of it would be to rev as hard as he could. Not the cleverest of plans. So MLO and I decided we had better help them. We got behind the car, and we said that if we rocked the car it should come free quite easily, so we rocked, and rocked a bit more, and rocked it forward far enough that Mr driver finally found some grip and got free. In return MLO and I got extremely muddy feet. Fun though.
We got home, and before we had had time to turn around, we had to get back off for evening church. We had a different vicar again, who did things a bit differently to the regular vicar, but everyone has a different way.
Anyway, that is me up to date, at last. Not sure what I will be doing tomorrow, so not sure if I will blog yet or not, will see how it goes. TTFN etc.

Newer Posts Older Posts Home

Flickr stream

My Blog List

Karen Minton 2011. Powered by Blogger.

Subscribe here.

All about Me

Herefordshire, United Kingdom
Born in 1975 in Brixham, in glorious Devon. Spent most of my youth in grimy birmingham. As soon as i was able at 18 I moved to beautiful Herefordshire. Where i remain to this day. Work at Locks Garage, famous for our ice creams. Generally wonderful place.
View my complete profile